Last week I got sick, and it was COVID. I was fortunate to have a mild case and I credit vaccinations for this.
I know that not everyone who has experienced COVID has had the same experience as me. I’ve known people who have had severe cases, and some who have been hospitalized.
Shortly after testing positive, I opened YouTube and on the top of the list was a video titled “Mike Birbiglia Steps in as Guest Host While Jimmy Kimmel Has COVID.”
“Hmm … I have COVID with Jimmy Kimmel,” I thought to myself.
It was comforting. I appreciate when leaders are vulnerable and share their experiences. It makes them relatable and can make people feel less alone.
I don’t think there is a good time to get COVID, but the timing of my positive test was terrible. I’d been organizing a media event to demonstrate community support for Indigenous housing for weeks. And now it was the day before the event, and I couldn’t attend.
It was hard to not attend the event — I felt like I was letting everyone down. It made me feel unprofessional. I know that these were just my feelings, and not the perceptions of others.
I felt bad asking someone else to be at the outdoor site at 7:30 a.m. for the delivery of tables and tents, among many other tasks. I asked and people helped.
I didn’t experience any judgment and only received support.
I heard the event went well and I received positive feedback. People needed to step in and help with things I couldn’t do, and I am so appreciative.
A couple of days ago, someone I was working on a project with let me know that they had COVID and would not be able to assist with a scheduled project. They felt terrible and were apologizing. It was interesting because I could see the situation from the other side now.
I wasn’t upset and didn’t feel let down in the slightest. I know this person felt terrible, the same way I felt only a week earlier.
This is the time we are living in right now. We know that people might get sick, and that if and when they do, they need to stay home.
When I was sick, I felt supported, and no one made me feel like I was letting people down. Colleagues and clients were understanding. When people are kind, it makes life so much easier. That’s true whether people have COVID or not; it works all the time.
As restrictions have eased, I’ve been to meetings, events and concerts. I have enjoyed them all. I don’t want to open a debate about where I might have caught COVID, or where and what activities I’ve been participating in, and what I should have done or shouldn’t have done.
Regardless of where I caught COVID, I know that I enjoyed the activities that I have participated in. I think it’s important that we ensure when we are taking risks that we deem them worthwhile.
Life has been restricted for so long, which adds pressure to everyone’s mental health. I am a firm believer that we need to be mindful of COVID risks and we also need to be mindful of mental-health risks. These will be different for everyone.